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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise for 2nd day

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise for 2nd day; Wrightson gains

Dec. 29 – New Zealand shares rose in light trading, pushing the NZX 50 Index up for a second day, with PGG Wrightson surging 12% and rest-home operator Metlifecare extending its slide.

The NZX 50 rose 9.583, or 0.4%, to 2677.64. Within the index, 21 stocks gained, 11 fell and 18 were unchanged. About 11.6 million shares changed hands. Wrightson, which has tumbled 32% in the past month, gained 13 cents to NZ$1.19.

Metlifecare fell 9% to NZ$2.54, extending its slide since announcing last week that was suspending its dividend and seeking to raise as much as NZ$40 million by selling new shares to shore up its capital. It was at NZ$3 before the announcement.

Fletcher Building led the index lower, sliding 3.5% to NZ$5.60, its third daily decline after figures showed the biggest drop in U.S. home sales for 21 years.

Air New Zealand fell 2.3% to 86 cents and Sky Network Television fell 1.3% to NZ$3.85.

Among gainers, carpet maker Cavalier Corp. rose 4.9% to NZ$1.73 and children’s clothing chain Pumpkin Patch rose 4% to NZ$1.04.

In Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 1.1% to 3621.1. Woodside Petroleum rose 5.7% after the price of oil advanced. Babcock & Brown Infrastructure fell 4.5% to 8.5 cents.



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